Feb 142016
 

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas for Kids

St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun holiday for the whole family! It can sometimes be difficult to come up with ideas to make a St. Patrick’s Day party fun for kids. It’s easy with adults but just in case you are looking for some great ideas for St. Patrick’s Day kids parties you’ve come to the right place! These ideas are sure to be a hit with all of your little leprechauns!

Green Food

This is a classic for St. Patrick’s Day and can’t be overlooked at a kid’s party! Some great foods that go green easily are rice crispy treats, cupcakes, jell-o, and sugar cookies! You can even make some green savory treats like popcorn and the chip dip! Try dying the ice cubes for a fun, fizzy, surprise in the soda!

Games

St. Patrick’s day is all about gold coins and leprechauns so try putting a classic spin on some themed party games! You can pin the hat on the leprechaun, or pin his gold coins in his pot! A great way to keep kids busy during a St. Patrick’s Day party is to set up a fun scavenger hunt! You can have the kids hunt for the rainbow or a pot of gold; chocolate coins make a great prize for figuring out the clues! Continue reading »

Jan 312016
 

DIY Valentines Day Banner

I am going to be honest, we’re not big on Valentine’s Day around our house.  In fact, my husband and I refuse to celebrate it, but that doesn’t mean that the kids can’t have a little Valentine’s Day fun.  I generally adorn my house with a few small decorations to acknowledge the “holiday” and this year I decided to make a fun Valentine’s Day conversation heart banner to hang up.

The banner is wicked easy to make and it will make a lovely addition to anyone’s decor. You can get as creative with the sayings on the conversation hearts as you want and believe me when I say, it can be real fun to come up with some out of the ordinary sayings. Because of the kids, I kept mine family friendly, but you can go in just about any direction you want with yours. Continue reading »

Jan 242016
 

Avengers Printable Valentines

This year Valentine’s Day is going to be a little bittersweet for me.  While my husband and I boycott it choose not to celebrate it, my kids have always gotten excited to exchange valentines at school with their friends.  This year my oldest son is in middle school and wouldn’t be caught dead handing out a valentine.  Well, that and the fact that they don’t hand out valentines in middle school.

My little one is in third grade, so at least I still have one that’s little enough to get excited about handing out valentines to his friends. Since we love Hawkeye in our house, and by we I mean me, my little man is going to be handing out these super cool Avengers valentines featuring the very handsome Hawkeye and friends.

Or maybe just the Hawkeye ones. Continue reading »

Apr 242015
 

30 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas That Won't Break the Bank!

Can you believe Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching? This is the one day of the year that we get to honor our moms. Just like any other holiday, the media gets a hold of it and turns it into this expensive holiday. It’s important to honor your mother on Mother’s Day, but you don’t need to spend a fortune doing it. Check out this list of 30 frugal Mother’s Day gift ideas.

1. Make a homemade card for mom.
2. Pick a bouquet of homegrown flowers
3. Upcycle an old t-shirt into a scarf
4. Make a coupon book for things she loves and adores (cleaning?)
5. Create a craft using your hand print
6. Put a play on for mom
7. Tell mom how much you love her with a letter.
8. Upcycle an old picture frame by adding your own decorative touches.
9. Head to the dollar store to put together a spa gift basket Continue reading »

Mar 232015
 

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

For a good part of the last decade, I have been hosting Easter dinner at my house.  While I like the convenience of not having to drag the kids out of the house sometimes, frankly all the years of cooking (and even worse, cleaning) have taken their toll.  So this year, I told my family that I no longer wanted to play host.  They took it better than I thought and my parents stepped up to host right away. About a week ago, we were all asked to sign up to bring a dish to their house that day and I snagged one of the dessert spots because I’ve had this recipe that I have been wanting to try out for chocolate dipped pretzels.  They’re super easy to make and I think they will make the perfect addition to any Easter dinner (or any dinner for that matter) this year.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package white Almond Bark
  • Pretzel Rods
  • Sprinkles

Directions: Continue reading »

Feb 262015
 

Age Approrpriate Easter Basket Ideas: without all the junk! who needs it anyway?? - massholemommy.com

It’s never too early to start thinking about Easter! It’s coming soon so I’ve started thinking about what I can do. What exactly do kids need in an Easter basket? Probably nothing, but what would they like? Every single year I go all out. Last year I started toning it down a little bit and making sure there was a lot less candy and chocolate involved in all Holiday’s and I try to shop as frugally as I can when it comes to Baskets, Gift Bags and Treats for special days.

What I will buy my 11 year-old I most definitely won’t buy my 5 year old or 3 year old, so there’s lists I make to ensure I fill up the baskets with age appropriate toys, books, trinkets and gadgets that they will actually use. So, I sat down and came up with some ideas after looking around the dollar store and two other stores.

Ages 1-3:

  • Board Books
  • Blocks
  • Bunny Stuffed Toy
  • Puffs Baby Food
  • Socks
  • Cars
  • Light up toys

Continue reading »

Feb 182015
 

How to Create a Rockin' Kid Friendly Chinese New Year

Many of you may not know that one of our favorite holidays to celebrate as a family is Chinese New Year. I love it because it’s such a unique holiday that not everyone celebrates. It’s a time to break out of the bubble and celebrate something on our own.

Check out these 5 ways we celebrate Chinese New Year with our kids.

#1. History Lesson

You don’t have to agree 100% with everything behind the Chinese calendar to have fun with this holiday. I use this as a learning experience for my kids and we go through why Chinese New Year is celebrated. Buddha has a rich history and it is fun to read up on it.

#2. Fortune Cookies

Since we don’t know everything about Chinese New Year, we do what we love best. We make our very own fortune cookies. Of course, you know my history with cooking; things don’t always turn out right. We have fun coming up with our own fortunes. I will tell you the boys have come up with some very interesting fortunes in the past.

#3. New Chinese Recipe

Every holiday deserves FOOD! Our family finds a recipe that we’ll love and we try to make it every Chinese New Year. Everyone in the family has to try it, even if it doesn’t look appetizing. Over the years, we’ve made some very interesting Chinese concoctions. Continue reading »

Feb 142015
 

Mardi Gras Mask Craft for Kids

Are you ready to celebrate Mardi Gras in your home? If not, take a peek below at this easy to make Mardi Gras mask craft for kids. During Mardi Gras, people swarm the streets in all sorts of masks, animal costumes, and other outrageous gear to celebrate. You can make your own Mardi Gras masks that are full of life in just a few simple steps. Here is how you can get started!

Supplies needed:
Sheets of felt
Scrapbook paper
Paper straws
Craft glue
Scissors
Optional: glitter, rhinestones Continue reading »

Feb 102015
 

10 Incredible Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without the Candy

If you are looking to skip the candy this year in favor of some new traditions I have gathered 10 great ideas for you to pull from. From the simple to the more involved ideas you are sure to find some way to celebrate Valentine’s Day without going into sugar shock.

  1. Special breakfast– Tint pancakes pink with food color, cut out with heart cookie cutters, then fold bacon into a heart shape before cooking. What a loving way to start the day!
  2. Sweet notes– Tuck sweet love notes inside packed lunches don’t forget to finish it off with a lipstick kiss. (Skip the perfume- rose flavored ham sandwiches probably aren’t that great)
  3. Mini Spa– Draw a bath, light candles, add a decadent beverage- men and women can enjoy this non-sweet treat.
  4. Go homemade– A simple and thoughtful gift that you poured your heart into is an ideal way to show how you feel. Cards, photo frames, handwritten poem, or something else along those lines.
  5. Play Games-Set up a night with just you and your sweetie or a couples game night, gather your favorite games and snacks.
  6. Paint your heart out– Go to a pottery or canvas painting studio and create something for each other.
  7. Refresh them-Surprise your sweetie with their favorite imported beer or specialty wine to toast the holiday.
  8. Do dinner– Whether you go out to a nice restaurant, or cook it yourself, a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner is a great way to spend the evening.
  9. Hand out Tickets– Lottery, sporting event, ballet, or symphony- do something the other one loves even if it isn’t your cup of tea.
  10. Love coupons– Yes it may be a bit corny but I think it still works, who doesn’t love a back rub or a whole night of total TV control?

Celebrating V-day with your love bird can be fun without all the sugary sweets. What’s your favorite non-candy way to celebrate V-day?

Feb 052015
 

5 Awesome Alternative Ways to Show You Care Everyday

I’m a firm believer that everyone should feel loved every day of the year. I know that everyone gets caught up “the every day.” However, this year I want to do something a little different. Instead of just celebrating love once a year (Valentine’s Day), I want to celebrate it every day! Here are five awesome alternative ways to show you care every day.

#1. Try Saying It

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we can buy a person that we actually forget to say words like “I love you” or “I appreciate you.” Instead of spending your life’s savings on something silly, try saying something meaningful with your mouth. If you’re not good at talking, I suppose you could write down how you feel, but who has time for that?

#2. Do Something Out of the Ordinary

What if you woke up and started your spouse’s car for them? We all know it’s getting a little cold out there and it’s not easy to get up and start the car in the morning. Show your loved one you care by doing something that’s out of the ordinary. Do something so radical that they won’t believe it’s you doing it. And yes, this is an act of love that you can do every single day!

#3. Don’t Yell at Them Continue reading »

Feb 042015
 

7 Ways To Get Him Excited For Valentine's Day: When you think of Valentines Day you usually think of LOVE but, besides love what do you think of? Flowers, Chocolate and Jewellery, right? Well, How about something different. How about something for HIM?

If your husband (or spouse) is anything like mine then he thinks Valentine’s Day is well, just another day.

This makes me sad and just can’t be possible! But if you think about it, when you think of Valentine’s Day what pops into your mind besides love? Flowers, Candy and Jewelry, right? So, I decided this year to make Valentine’s Day all about HIM this year. Usually, Valentine’s although centered around love is geared toward women. But what about him? What about those handsome hunks we love?

We have kids, lots of kids, so going out isn’t really a option for us so I had to sit down and really think. What could be done to focus on HIM this Valentine’s day, and here’s what I’ve come up with

» Make him breakfast in bed: Valentine’s Day is a Saturday this year so if your guy isn’t working make him breakfast in bed! Eggs, sausages, toast and home fries!

» Get him gifts he can appreciate: Valentine’s makes people think of chocolate, jewelry and flowers but men don’t want that. Get him some updated tools, a new power shaver or even take him to a movie or two!

» Be Romantic: But not overly, needy romantic. Show him you care. Give him a foot massage, Back massage or even go for a couples massage (a legit one!)

» Ask him what HE wants to do for the day: You may be surprised with what he chooses, but if not just simple and nod! It’s only one day! Continue reading »

Feb 022015
 

Valentine’s Day Washi Tape Votive HolderDIY

With a little washi tape and a simple mason jar you can make your own Washi Tape Votive Holder in just minutes. The end result is the perfect little Valentine’s Day décor piece or a fun gift for a friend. Here is how you can get started crafting your own. But hurry, Valentine’s Day is almost here!

Here is what you will need to get started:
Small mason jar
Washi tape in choice of color and pattern
Ribbon or twine
Votive (battery operated or real)

Valentine’s Day Washi Tape Votive Holder
Continue reading »

Jan 242015
 

Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine's Day Cookies

It’s said that you eat with your eyes before you even take a bite. These Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine’s Day Cookies will have your party guests or a special someone doing a double-take when they bite into these sweet, buttery cookies packing a surprise.

To create these heart-shaped cookies perfect for class treats, Valentine’s Day dessert, or an easy homemade gift, you will need a simple sugar cookie dough. You can use your favorite recipe or use those handy pre-cut cookies you can find in grocery stores. (I promise I won’t snitch.)

Here is a tried and true recipe that results in a thinner, crunchy cookie, perfect for creating these stacked cookies.

You Will Need:

  • 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters – one needs to be smaller than the other
  • Sprinkles of any size or color
  • Frosting

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla (you can also use almond extract for a unique flavor)

Continue reading »

Jan 172015
 

Stained Glass Valentine’s Day Cookies

These cookies are amazing and can be adjusted to be a year round, crowd-pleasing treat. Great for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday, including Christmas, stained glass cookies are a fantastic treat.

They are unbelievably easy and you probably have everything you need sitting in your pantry or lingering in your kids’ holiday candy baskets. Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, or any other hard candy will turn your sugar cookies into a show-stopping dessert that you can snack on or hand out to lucky party patrons.

The key is in an amazing sugar cookies base. The flaky, delicate crunch of a well-made cookie is all you need, but the gorgeous glassy insert of a bright red heart will be the perfect touch. Read the directions for tips on how to make the best sugar cookies and stained glass insert… Continue reading »

Dec 172014
 

**Disclosure: I received a pair of tickets to see The Nutcracker at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When I was in the 4th grade, my class took a field trip into Boston to see a matinee performance of Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker.  Being nine years old at the time, I basically had no appreciation for what I was watching.  Fast forward to the present when I had a chance to go see this years production of The Nutcracker at The Boston Opera House and got a second chance to take in the show – as a “grown up” with a whole different outlook on the show.  My husband, Chris, had never even seen The Nutcracker before, so I knew he was going to be in for a real treat.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker

“Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”  

The show itself was absolutely breath taking.  All of the dancers were so graceful and they all did such a great job of telling the story through dance.  Chris and I sat there in awe throughout the entire show.

More than 300 dancers will perform in the new production and each performance has approximately 150 dancers involved. There are 250 children in the performance, making up three or four casts (classical ballet students from the Boston, Newton and North Shore studios). Continue reading »

Dec 162014
 

Are you looking to have a little Elf on the Shelf fun this holiday season? If so, take a look at these fun and frugal Naughty Elf ideas a try! You will find that it can be so fun and easy to help your Elf on a Shelf get into some holiday trouble. Here is how you can get started!

1. Clubbing Elf
This elf loves to get down to the beat and dance until the dawn. Grab a pack of glow sticks at your local dollar store, activate them, and then tie them around the elf. He will look like he is ready to party in no time. Cue the house music!

Clubbing  Elf on the Shelf

2. Boozy Elf
Uh oh! Looks like someone found the booze! Boozy Elf looks great when set out with a bottle, wine corks, and a wine glass. For extra fun, stuff him inside of the glass. Bottoms up! Continue reading »

Dec 092014
 

11

There’s nothing worse than spending a ton of money on Christmas decorations year after year. Whether you’re looking to purchase new Christmas decorations for a first time home or replace your old decorations, there are some ways you can save money.

Borrow Christmas Decorations

There’s nothing weird about borrowing someone else’s Christmas decorations. Let’s say a person is no longer using something fabulous, decoration wise, and it’s just sitting in their basement. It’s best to ask  to borrow it than just watch it sit there.

Garage Sale Christmas Decoration Finds

Garage sales are some of the BEST places to find Christmas decorations. Whether you’re looking for a tree or lights, it’s best to find them for the lowest price possible. There’s no use in spending your whole Christmas bonus on something like this. Look around during the summer months for decorations that you can use during the winter months. Continue reading »

Dec 072014
 

Perfect Christmas Pranks for the Kids

Every year I have to be THAT mom and have a little fun with my kids. Life just isn’t the same if you do not spend time having fun. I think Christmas time is the perfect time to have a little good clean fun with the boys. I wanted to share some of my best prank ideas to pull on the kids.

Empty Box Wrapped Up

Okay, this one might be just plain mean, but it’s hilarious. Wrap a huge box with wrapping paper and place it under the tree. Don’t say anything and let your kids open it Christmas morning. I’m just saying that you have to have something amazing for them to open after pulling a prank like this.

Early Christmas

Take things from around the house and wrap them up. Surprise the kids about a week before Christmas and tell them you are having Christmas early. They may just love opening a box of brownie mix a week before Christmas.

Wake Them Up Early Continue reading »

Dec 032014
 

Snowman Donuts NOM

The holidays are filled with gift shopping, whipping up feasts that will please a crowd, putting up decorations, planning festive gatherings, cleaning up after the festive gatherings, making lists, and checking them twice. It can all be overwhelming, but the fun in the season is worth every moment of making magic.

These Snowman Donuts are incredibly easy and quick, so you can get back to making three different kinds of mashed potatoes to suit your guests’ desire. They require no baking, but just a little imagination that will have your family wanting to join in.

You Will Need:

*Powdered sugar donuts – You can make your own by frying up some pre-made biscuit dough. Just use a small circular cookie cutter to create the shape. Double-dip them in powdered sugar and let them cool. Or, you can buy a bag. I won’t tell.

*One small piping bag of white-hued frosting

*Candy orange slices

*Chocolate chips (Regular M&M candies work well, too.) Continue reading »

Nov 302014
 

Monsters Inc. Mike Wazowski Holiday Ornament

Do you love Monsters Inc. or know someone who does? If so, this Monsters Inc. holiday ornament is the perfect craft. Simple and inexpensive to make, this Monsters Inc. holiday ornament is the perfect way to add a little monster fun to your tree or holiday décor. Take a peek below at how to get started crafting your own Mike Wazowski ornament and see how much fun you can have!

Supplies needed:
Clear holiday ornament (opt for plastic)
Green craft paint (Hot green or a vivid green is perfect, typically less than $1 at most craft stores)
White, black, and blue craft felt or construction paper
Black marker
Craft glue Continue reading »